Birdwatching in Ona

The island group Ona, located right outside of Molde in direction north-east, consists of the two small islands Ona and Husøya. These two islands are connected by a small bridge. But to get to Ona in the first place, you have to take a ferry or use a boat. Nevertheless, going there is absolutely worth it. Over 240 bird species have been registered in this very small area!

Map over Ona

1The harbour
2Ona lighthouse
3Salsfyret (lighthouse) in Husøya
4The cemetery

Typical Island Rarity Hotspot
Ona is a typical place for mega rarities with its location far out in the ocean. Ona is actually one of Norway’s best places to find rare bird species. For example, Bimaculated Lark and White-crowned Sparrow was seen here for the first time in Norway. Many things make Ona unusually favourable for birds and birdwatchers. During bad migration weather, this place is perfect for staging, particularly when it is cloudy or the birds have headwind. In fact, the birds have very few other places to go in these instances.

Ona offers the birds a great variety in terms of different biotopes. They will find intertidal areas, gardens with bushes and thickets, cultural landscapes, and some trees. In other words, a long-awaited oasis for tired birds. And since all of this is found within the same area, the conditions for birdwatching are perfect—short distances, easily accessible, and a great density of birds under the right conditions.

You should also consider visiting Orten, Harøya, Finnøy, and Sandøya, located in close proximity. Here too, many rarities have been seen.

Helpful Information

Biotope:Small island. Islets and reefs with grass, in addition to smaller garden areas.
Best time to visit:Relevant all year. The great rarities definitely show up more often during the migration in May-Juni and particularly in September-October.
Bird towers:None.
Terrain:Slightly hilly.
Shoes:Water proof hiking or mountain shoes or boots.
Food:Recommended, but the island has a grocery shop and a kiosk.
Clothes:Wind proof and warm hiking wear. Oftentimes a good idea to bring rainwear.



Did you know …

… that Ona was hit by a giant wave during a hurricane in 1670? As many as 48 of the 50 houses was washed out into the ocean.

… that Ona’s total surface area is just under 1 square kilometre?

… that over 5,800 Barnacle Geese was seen on the same day in Ona?

Bird Species Seen in the Area

Pictures from Ona

Some of the Birds in Ona

Examples of Mega Rarities Registered Once or More
Ross’s Goose, Cory’s Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Great Egret, Eurasian Spoonbill, Upland Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Red Phalarope, Sabine’s Gull, Thick-billed Murre, Black Tern, Sandwich Tern, European Turtle Dove, Bimaculated Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Australasian Pipit, Olive-backed Pipit, Pechora Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Red-flanked Bluetail, Siberian Stonechat, White’s Thrush, Grey-cheeked Thrush, Pallas’s Grasshopper-Warbler, Lanceolated Warbler, Booted Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Arctic Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hume’s Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Firecrest, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Rosy Starling, White-crowned Sparrow.

Key Map
Helpful Links
(also in english)